Throughout pregnancy, mothers experience a lot of changes, discomfort, and even aches. The discomforts and pains become even more pronounced once you enter the 13th week of your pregnancy, which signals the beginning of the 2nd trimester. What are the common 2nd trimester pregnancy pains and how do you manage them?
One of the most notable 2nd trimester pregnancy pains is back pain. This normally happens due to the added weight of the growing baby, which strains your back. Some of the signs that you’re having pregnancy-related backache are:
- Dull pain or “achy” feeling in the lower back
- Back stiffness
- An ache that becomes worse when you bend forward
You can relieve backache by sitting up straight and by sleeping on your side, preferably with a pillow between your legs.
To learn more about back pain during pregnancy, you can also read this article.
Another one of the normal 2nd trimester pregnancy pains are leg cramps.
During pregnancy, the changes in circulation and the compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the legs cause leg cramps.
Sometimes, the lack of magnesium in the diet also triggers cramping.
Many mothers describe leg cramps as involuntary contractions in the calf muscles or a sudden ache in the calf or foot.
Additionally, reports indicate that leg cramping is, most of the time, worse at night.
In managing leg pain during the 2nd trimester, you can stay active during the day (as active as your doctor allows you to), drink more fluid, and stretch your calf muscles.
It will also help if you maintain a healthy diet to ensure that you have enough magnesium.
If the pain worsens at night, consider the following measures:
- Make sure that your legs are warm
- When stretching your legs in the bed, avoid “pointing” your toes
- Take a warm shower
Heartburn or acid reflux is also one of the common 2nd trimester pregnancy pains.
According to doctors, acid reflux happens because of the hormonal changes that cause the muscles on top of the stomach to relax.
As a result, the acid flows from the stomach up into the food pipe (esophagus).
Managing heartburn pain during the 2nd trimester can be achieved by:
- Eating several small meals instead of 3 large ones
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Avoiding “trigger” foods like greasy and spicy foods
- Staying upright 2 to 3 hours after having dinner
Round Ligament Pain
Your uterus or womb is supported by fibers called round ligament.
Because the uterus is growing, the added weight stretches the round ligament, causing pain that can be described as:
- An ache or sharp pain on one side of the abdomen.
- Pain in the hip or groin area
- Pain that happens after physical activity or shift in position.
Since the pain may last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, consider the following measures:
- Move slowly during an activity, especially when you’re changing positions.
- Take a warm bath
- Lie on your side, preferably with a pillow under your belly
- Bend your knees towards your abdomen
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Most mothers say that Braxton Hicks contractions are often “painless”, but we’ll still include it as one of the 2nd trimester pregnancy pains since it causes a “tightening” or “squeezing” sensation.
You most probably have Braxton Hicks if you experience:
- Squeezing of the womb
- Frequent contractions at night
- Tightening that lasts for up to 2 minutes
Braxton Hicks can sometimes be relieved by drinking fluids and taking some rest.
While these contractions are normal, mommies sometimes worry because they get the feeling that they are already experiencing labor pains.
However, true labor pain is different from Braxton Hicks contractions.
Pelvic Girdle Pain
Pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction happens due to the added weight of the baby and the uterus to the pelvic joint.
Often, this 2nd trimester pregnancy pain manifests as pain in the:
- Thigh or perineum area
- Center of the pubic bone
Mothers who experience this pain might have difficulty walking.
When to Call a Doctor
The pains described above are often a normal part of a healthy pregnancy. But, there are also pains that could be a cause of concern.
Seek medical help you experience any of the following:
- Pain when urinating, especially when your urine turns smelly and cloudy. This could indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Moderate or heavy bleeding in your vagina accompanied by pain or cramping. Bleeding could be a warning sign of miscarriage.
- Pain in the upper part of your stomach or somewhere in your chest, especially if it’s accompanied by headache, swelling of face, hands, and feet, as well as blurry vision. These symptoms often point to pre-eclampsia.
- Regular contractions that don’t stop even with fluid intake and rest.
- Decreased fetal movement.
- Severe pain on the right side of the belly as it might be appendicitis.
- A sudden gush of fluid. This could indicate premature labor.
It’s natural for pregnancy to come with pains and aches, but still, be observant.
Take note of the red flags above – if you notice any of them, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Likewise, if any of the normal pains make you worry, seek advice from your physician.
Learn more about Being Pregnant here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.